From being the coy assistant director to the newbie director today, Ashima Chibber opens up on her liaison with the Yash Raj banner and her maiden directorial venture, Mere Dad Ki Maruti.
Getting to direct your first film, under the biggest banner in Indian cinema today, the Yash Raj Films. How does it make you feel?
How do I express my excitement? I am a little confused. It is like a dream come true for any aspiring director. When I came to Bombay to work in films, main sabse pehle YRF ke office mein hi aayi thi kaam dhundne ke liye! I remember Dhoom was about to start that time. I was looking forward to being an assistant director in Dhoom, where I was rejected. Then I did Chak De with YRF under Shimit Amin and it’s since then that I share a great bond with the production company. There are many talented assistant directors who don’t get any breaks. In that way, I am very lucky.
What made you choose such a witty humoristic theme as you starting step into filmdom?
Well, actually I never chose the subject, the subject chose me! I was not doing anything when I got this script and I felt, yeah this sounds good. I read the script and I really liked it. It was as simple as that without any turn of events happening, looking for a good break which ultimately happened.
As a first time director, what are you expecting out of this film?
I am expecting a box office success because that is the most important thing to me. The film needs to do well monetarily because someone has invested in it. I feel Mere Dad Ki Maruti is a very well made film in terms of everything: scripting, acting, directing, music, background score, editing. Everything is of top quality so there is no reason why there should be no audience to this film. I just hope and pray for a great box office success now.
With small budgeted films like Vicky Donor and Kai Po Che setting standards today, is there a pressure on Mere Dad ki Maruti to deliver in the same space?
Well today, if you see the market, small budgeted films like Band Baaja Baaraat, Ishaqzaade, Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge are all in-house films. Most of the actors coming out of the banner are first time actors. For a director, the pressure to deliver is more internal. Yes there are pressures externally as well but it is your take on things that you want to put forward in your script that makes all the difference. That is what it is all about.
So internally is there an added pressure to amtch up to Manessh Sharma and Gauri Shinde who had path breaking directorial debuts in the last two years?
The change is ultimately in the script and in our audiences. I think times are changing and the culture of our country is changing. That is something that always has a huge impact and effect on all our work: as directors, as producers, English Vinglish was a tremendously well thought film and I was amazed at the maturity of the film, frame by frame, in each scene. Even the music pieces and the costumes were so fresh and outstanding. These are the daily thoughts that go in our minds everyday and today directors come with new experiences, new backgrounds and new cultures for coming forward and doing such definitive films today. It is a great trend and it should come out as organically as it can because the time is just right. And today people are just bored of the same ghisa pita love story.